Buyer pays close to $700,000 for a Bugatti La Voiture Noire sculpture, and it may be a good deal


You can’t compliment one of the most expensive cars ever made with just any paperweight, nor would it be 2022 without this being unlocked via an NFT.

James Ward

When completed in 2021, the one-off Bugatti La Voiture Noire was reportedly the most expensive new car ever made, with a sticker price of €11 million ($AU17m) before on-road costs (although the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail has since eclipsed that billionaire flex).

Translated simply as ‘the Black Car’, the La Voiture Noire was designed to reflect the classic 1934 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic in an ultra-modern and blisteringly fast way.

It is powered by an 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 producing a staggering 1103kW and 1600Nm, to propel the exclusive hypercar to a top speed of 216mph (348km/h).

To celebrate the release of the car, which was sold before it was even completed, Bugatti teamed up with 240-year-old English jewellery creator Asprey to produce a series of sculptures.

A total of 216 sterling silver ‘objects d’art’ were fashioned (to signify the car’s top speed) and all sold out instantly.

Taking things a step further, Asprey has created a larger, rose-gold sculpture that along with requisite NFT artwork was auctioned last week by Phillips Auction House in London for a staggering £378,000 ($AU665,000) including buyer’s premium.

And, strangely, this isn’t a bad deal.

Forget the NFT side of things, as Bugatti is simply using the digital art as an authentication piece that also allows the winning bidder to buy a second sculpture in black, as in terms of a unique artwork fashioned from rose gold, the sculpture has a more ‘weighty’ value.

Gold is currently $85,000 per kilogram, and given rose gold can only be a maximum of 22 of 24 carats (due to being an alloy), we’ll assume it’s around 80 per cent pure. Bugatti and Asprey wouldn’t have any less, as they actually claim it is 24 carat.

This means the sculpture is worth approximately $68,000 per kilogram, and if it weighs 10kg, you’ve got yourself a stylish, $680,000 lump of precious metal. For context, a 1kg block of solid gold is about the same size as a block of chocolate, which makes our assessment to the sculpture’s size pretty close.

Take into account the one-of-one sculpture took four months to craft, we’re going to say that at even half the material value, this piece feels like a reasonably smart investment.

If you like the idea of a metallic talk point on your mantlepiece, scale things back 500-fold (to where we consider cars that cost around $34,000), and you can buy a 1:43 scale cast-aluminium model of a Porsche 992 Turbo for around $250.

That’s $125,000 in billionaire-adjusted money, plus you can draw a picture of it on your computer and save the file as NFT-01.jpg to really get the full experience.

James Ward

James has been part of the digital publishing landscape in Australia since 2002 and has worked within the automotive industry since 2007. He joined CarAdvice in 2013, left in 2017 to work with BMW and then returned at the end of 2019 to spearhead the content direction of Drive.

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